1. Lonar Crater Lake, Maharashtra
One of Maharashtra’s best kept secrets, Lonar lake in the Buldhana District is surrounded by mysteries about its origin. Though after years of exploration it’s certain now that the lake was formed around 55,000 years ago when it was struck by a meteorite that weighed almost 2 million tonnes . The impact managed to create the Earth’s largest and only hyper-velocity impact crater in basaltic rock and is around 550ft deep from the rim of the crater.
The four-hour drive from Aurangabad runs through picturesque villages and fields of paddy, and ends at the MTDC resort and other limited accommodation options available. The path down to the lake is slippery, making this a truly perilous trek. But you soon forget the grazed knees and lost shoes for the sheer joy of trekking through the lush jungle, of finding curious minerals like the ancient glass formation maskelynite, and stumbling upon centuries-old, abandoned temples that are now inhabited only by insects and bats.
The trek through the dense forest is a haven for the bird watchers with several species of local and migratory birds like the red-wattled lapwings, blue jays, bayaweavers, hoopoes that inhabit the area.
With no fishes and boating on the lake as the water is saline it takes a good 3-4hrs to explore the whole area on foot or you can try a different mode– The Bullock Cart ride!
2. Floating Lake in Keibul National Park , Manipur
Did you know the only Floating National Park in the world is in the north eastern state of Manipur?
While visiting the serene Loktak Lake, from a distance you will see small islands protruding out of water on this only Freshwater Lake in Manipur. Moving closer you will notice these are actually patches of vegetation created by an accrual of organic garbage and biomass with soil particles that have been thickened into a solid that floats over this lake locally known as the Phumdis. It is on these Phumdis that the Fishermen have built their huts on which float comfortably and are tossed around with the wind.
This park which was initially declared as a Sanctuary in 1966 was subsequently declared as a National Park in 1977.
The park was originally made to protect the endangered species of Brow-antlered Deer locally known as the Sangai. However, you will also find a variety of flora and fauna around like the Hog deer, Wild boar, Large Indian Civets, common otter, fox, jungle cat, golden cat, Bay bamboo rat, musk shrew, common shrew, threatened Hooded crane, etc.
It’s a paradise for the fish lovers as they get to enjoy the fresh fishes directly taken out of the Chinese fishing nets. Though the accommodation is limited and you’ll have to stay at Imphal, the visit to the national park is quite pleasant and unique.
3. Marble Rocks at Bedhaghat, Madhya Pradesh
The Marble rocks on the river Narmada is one of its kind in India. The best way to explore the marble rocks is to take a boat ride on some rapids on river Narmada. The experience is simple but beautiful in its own way. Located in the Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh the best time to visit this place is from November – May as the boating is closed during monsoons. Also it is advisable to take the boat ride just around 4pm as with the pleasant sunset you can see the marble rocks change their colors. They also have night boats on Full moon nights. This is a very romantic experience. The light of the brightly lit moon on these nights falls on the rocks making it shine
If this isn’t enough, take the ropeway ride from the Dhuandhar falls or visit the Bhedaghat Chausath Yogini Temple. Whilst your trip is on do not forget to collect some marble souvenirs from the local shops!
4. Highest Post Office and Petrol Pump, Himachal Pradesh
When you visit the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh your family and friends would love to receive a letter from you from the highest post office in the world right? Well there’s the post office at the Hikkim Village which is at a 4,572 m (15,500 ft) above sea level making it the world’s highest post office. Inaugurated in 1983, Rinchon Chhering it’s only employee handles at least 20 letters a day.
Located at a height of 3740 m (12270 ft) above sea level, the Indian oil’s petrol pump is the highest petrol pump in the world. Even though it is quite old fashioned as the fuel dispenser is outmoded and only shows the amount of petrol filled, but doesn't calculate the money to be paid by the customer, it is still the highest fuel pump in the world providing you with fuel.